Jurong dormitory riot police: workers unhappy with slow response to Covid-19 outbreak and poor food quality – Mothership.SG
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) investigated allegations regarding the current living conditions of migrant workers in the Westlite dormitory of Jalan Tukang in Jurong on October 13 and found that there were delays in the transport of positive cases of Covid-19 to care or recovery facilities.
It was after an article published on the Chinese portal Weixin on October 12, highlighting the ground scenes.
The article first mentioned the alleged problems within the dormitory, including violations of Covid-19 health protocols, workers’ inaccessibility to medical assistance and poor quality of food.
In response to Mothership, a spokesperson for MOM said he was aware of the article online and that agents from MOM’s Advanced Insurance and Support Teams (FAST) were deployed to the dormitory on October 13.
Singapore police also responded to a call for help at the dorm at around 12:55 p.m. that day.
Claims made in the Chinese article
The article on Weixin highlighted alleged complaints of migrant workers living in the dormitory.
There have been several screenshots of worker conversations about alleged violations of Covid-19 health protocols, where confirmed cases of Covid-19 were not isolated from other workers, but placed in the same room .
It was also mentioned that other workers were continuing to work as usual, although they were in close contact with the patients in their dormitory.
Due to the lack of isolation between patients and other workers, some confirmed cases have chosen to sleep outside their rooms and even outside so as not to spread the virus to the rest of the workers.
According to the article, staff dressed in full protective gear came frequently to take away those who were seriously ill, painting a grim picture on the floor.
In addition, the article claimed that medical resources were insufficient.
Apparently it is difficult to get medicine when sick in the dormitory.
One worker mentioned that it took him five days to receive his medication, saying in a text conversation that “the company doesn’t care.”
âIt’s hard to protect our lives inside here. And it feels like our dignity is being trampled on,â read the text messages in the image above.
Another problem highlighted was the poor quality of the food given.
The workers reportedly found insects, pieces of newspaper and hair in their meals.
In this text message posted by the article, a worker alleged that the rice and dishes lacked nutrients and were too few.
“My stomach is starting to give me trouble, the food does not have the vitamins and nutrients my body needs.”
“MOM’s preliminary investigations revealed that there had indeed been delays in transferring workers who tested positive for Covid-19 from their rooms to a care or recovery center to recover,” said the spokesperson for ministry.
They are currently working to transfer those in need of additional medical care to the appropriate health facilities for treatment.
To prevent further spread of the virus, roommates in positive cases are only allowed to return to work after producing a negative result on the rapid antigen test (ART).
MOM also said dorm residents who wish to see a doctor will be routed to a regional medical center daily and have access to telemedicine.
They have also deployed mobile clinical teams on site to increase the care needs of workers, if necessary.
In addition, MOM highlighted workers’ comments on the quality of the food to employers: âThe employer has since engaged workers about the problem and to find out if they have any other concerns. “
âMOM will continue to work with all stakeholders, including dormitory operators and employers, to care for and ensure the well-being of our migrant workers. We also seek worker feedback through existing channels, such as our FAST agents in the field or through the dormitory operator. “
Amorous police vehicles deployed to the dormitory
A video posted on a Facebook page, Gowhereforsg, showed around 100 workers, supposedly from Westlite Jalan Tukang, gathered and listening to an announcement made by a man in a blue t-shirt holding a megaphone.
However, it is unclear what the man was saying in the video.
The Facebook post wrote:
âThere is unrest (sic) among / on the part of migrant workers where the police were on alert in full force with many tactical vehicles of the Special Operations Command (TTV) troops and Tenix armored personnel carriers Police S600 deployed. “
CNA confirmed this, stating that there were four special operations command vehicles and several other armored police vehicles seen along the roads outside the scene.
Police officers in protective gear and police in red berets were also present at the scene.
CNA also noted that the entrance to the dormitory was barricaded with riot shields and guarded by police officers wearing personal protective equipment.
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The best images from westlite.com.sg and Gowhereforsg / FB.